Headshots

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From a session for stage and screen actor, Stacey Lynne Crowe.   Actor’s headshots need to be pretty simple, and must show what they really look like – so no editing allowed.   I process these in Lightroom and they have contrast and exposure adjustments made to lift the shadows, knock the highlights down just a bit and then I set the white and black points.  On the skin I reduce contrast a bit , and put a tenth of a top into the eyes.  Then sharpen the eyes, lips, and nose and I’m done. 

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The lighting is low contrast:  the subject is surrounded by light.  I generally use the “Hurley Triangle” for single subjects made out of softboxes – 2 strips left and right and one broader fill soft box from below.  Then adjust each light to give a bias to one side so it;s not completely flat.  In these images, the right hand side is a bit brighter giving a soft shadow on the left.  We vary it a bit – and in some shots I have a 30 degree grid-spot on the dark grey wall, and we also used a big octabox behind to give a white background.  For the denim shots, I turned off the left side completely for some deeper contrast.  The super observant will have noticed the pattern in the BTS shot above on the wall behind.  The modelling lights in the original Lencarta SF600 lights is a halogen bulb – like a car headlamp bulb.  Because it is so small, it casts very sharp shadows. When I take the shot though, the much bigger ring shaped flash tube provides the light and we get the smooth ball of light we want from a grid.

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This entry was posted in Equipment, How Its made, Lighting.

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